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Song From Broadway Musical 'Hamilton' Celebrates Founding Mothers
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Song From Broadway Musical 'Hamilton' Celebrates Founding Mothers

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Song From Broadway Musical 'Hamilton' Celebrates Founding Mothers

Song From Broadway Musical 'Hamilton' Celebrates Founding Mothers
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As part of NPR's year-end series "One That Got Away", reporter Jeff Lunden tells us about his favorite song from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. It's not about the founding fathers; it's about some founding mothers.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The smash hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" mixes hip-hop with American history and features a multiracial cast. A lot's been written about the founding fathers in the show - Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson and Aaron Burr among them. But for reporter Jeff Lunden, "The One That Got Away," a song about the founding mothers, is the emotional heart of the show.

JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: I'll admit it - since the "Hamilton" cast album came out in September, it's been more or less in constant rotation on my iPhone. And one of the songs I frequently press not only play but repeat is "The Schuyler Sisters," the exuberant number that introduces three women, two of whom are going to fall madly in love with Alexander Hamilton, as they visit lower Manhattan in 1776. It's irresistible.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work, work.

RENEE ELISE GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) Angelica.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work, work.

PHILLIPA SOO: (As Eliza Schuyler, singing) Eliza.

JASMINE CEPHAS JONES: (As Peggy Schuyler, singing) And Peggy.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work, work - the Schuyler sisters.

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) Angelica.

JONES: (As Peggy Schuyler, singing) Peggy.

SOO: (As Eliza Schuyler, singing) Eliza.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work.

LUNDEN: These three women in period dresses strut across the stage heads and fingers popping like a Revolutionary War version of Destiny's Child. And if it looks and sounds like they're having fun, Phillipa Soo, who plays Eliza, the women who married Hamilton, says they are.

SOO: We're so amazingly different from each other and come from very different backgrounds and upbringings. Yet, we come together and it's just like fireworks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS")

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) Whoa.

RENEE GOLDSBERRY, JASMINE CEPHAS JONES AND PHILLIPA SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) Whoa, work.

LUNDEN: "Hamilton's" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda heard the women singing backstage and tailored the song to showcase their vocal blend.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS")

SOO: (As Eliza Schuyler, singing) Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.

PHILLIPA SOO AND JASMINE CEPHAS JONES: (As Eliza and Peggy Schuyler, singing) Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.

GOLDSBERRY, JONES AND SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) In the greatest city in the world.

LUNDEN: In addition to the harmony, Renee Elise Goldsberry, who plays cerebral older sister Angelica gets to show off her skills.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS")

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) I've been reading "Common Sense" by Thomas Payne. So many say that I'm intense or I'm insane. You want a revolution? I want a revelation, so listen to my declaration.

GOLDSBERRY, JONES AND SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I'm going to compel him to include women in the sequel.

GOLDSBERRY, JONES AND SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) Work.

LUNDEN: For me, the Schuyler sisters become the emotional heart of the show. But in their first song, I find myself swept up in the excitement and belief that history is happening in Manhattan, and we're all lucky to be alive right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SCHUYLER SISTERS")

GOLDSBERRY, JONES AND SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) We're looking for a mind at work.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work, work.

GOLDSBERRY, JONES AND SOO: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) Hey.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (Singing) Work, work.

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica Schuyler, singing) Whoa.

JONES AND SOO: (As Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) Hey, hey, hey.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work, work, work, work.

GOLDSBERRY: (As Angelica, Peggy and Eliza Schuyler, singing) In the greatest - in the greatest city in the world.

LUNDEN: For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (Singing) In the greatest city in the world.

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